Category Archives: Religion

The Kingdom of God is coming now!

The conditions for the restoration of Adam’s sin have been fulfilled. That means that people can be liberated from original sin.

Road to the Temple of Peace

Therefore, the Kingdom of God can come on earth as it is in heaven.

This means that world peace will be established. People of different races and nationalities will live together in harmony. An environment of true love will come to be.

God is compassionate. God’s compassion is expressed through both judgement and mercy.

In order for us to experience God’s mercy we must go through God’s judgment.

The proud will be humbled and the sinners must come to repentance.

End it now!

Pray for God’s Kingdom to come on earth. Pray for God’s will to be done. Pray for us to be delivered from evil.

Believe, repent, and sin no more.

Through repentance your personal sins are forgiven. God will give you the strength to resist evil. God will fill you with the Holy Spirit so that you can feel His love. The Holy Spirit will cleanse your heart. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. You can be perfect as your Heavenly Parent is perfect.

Peace will come through forgiveness. Just as God forgives us we must forgive others. As we forgive each other God will forgive us, not just individually but collectively.

Racial, religious, and ethnic harmony will come through forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the door for us to feel God’s love together. Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy.

True love now!

The kingdom of God is the world of true love. The world of true love is coming now.

How long will it take for the world of true love to be realized?

The door is open. For me to enter I must repent and sin no more. In this way, I dis-cover the Kingdom of God within me. Loving others and sharing the truth that God reveals to me I help to expand the kingdom. Listening to the truth that God reveals to others helps to expand the kingdom. Forgiving others is part of loving others. Through reconciliation we expand the world of true love.

The door is open. For you to enter you must repent and sin no more. Ask God for help. Ask and you shall receive. Be patient and believe. You will be redeemed through your faith in the power of God.

The door is open. For all of us to experience the Kingdom of God together as one family, we must both repent and forgive. As we do so we will become one together in God’s love. The Father  will be in us and we will be in the Father.

Sin will be no more.

The kingdom of God is coming now. The door is open. Please enter.

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One Most High God – One Way

Road to the Temple of Peace

There is only one Absolute Reality.
There is only one source of all that is.
There is only one Most High God.

There appear to be many ways.
Yet in their essence they are all one.

Love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

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Trust God and Do Well Sept 6 2016

Is it possible to heal our nation and heal the world. I believe so, if we have faith, love God, and do well. Peace.

 

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Liberation from the evil one

In the Lord’s prayer as I was taught to say it one line goes, “Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.” I shared some brief ruminations previously on Lead me not into temptation…October Nights

The New Living Translation of the Bible says, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”

This translation is a bit more satisfying to me because it is asking for divine help not to give into temptation. In my mind I may like to rephrase my prayer, “Help me to resist temptation, and deliver me from the evil one.”

James says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That’s pretty optimistic. I find that these devils can be pretty persistent.

What am I talking about? Who are these devils, and demons, and evil spirits? Who is the evil one? Why are we under the power of the evil one?

I am no expert on this. I see through a glass darkly. My experience of spiritual reality is very limited.

The Divine Principle taught by Sun Myung Moon gives an explanation of the fall of man and also of the spirit world and how spirits influence us. Other Christian denominations have varying explanations of the Fall. Other religions as well have a variety of stories and explanations. Islam talks of Iblis and evil jinn. Buddhism of maya and attachment to desire. The world of religion and shamanism is full of demons.

In modern psychology and humanism, these demons are seen as figurative manifestations of addictive tendencies, archetypes, or biochemical, emotional, mental or psychic imbalances and complexes.

Whatever the explanations, in the existential reality of life we all face challenges. We all experience temptation to indulge in destructive behavior. We all have our personal demons. To different degrees we have periods when we lose control and do things that we regret.

I encourage everyone to seek the truth. To try to understand the nature of reality, physical, psychic, and spiritual. The Buddha says that right understanding precedes right thinking and right action as well as all the other of the eight paths. So seek understanding. It is a lifetime journey. If you think you know the answer, you don’t. When you find the Way, it will be an experience, not a concept.

In Catholic tradition there is a list of seven deadly sins: Pride, envy, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, and sloth. Each vice has a coTresponding virtue: humility, magnanimity, generosity, chastity, restraint, moderation, and optimistic diligence.

In Genesis 4, it says that when Cain’s offering was not accepted by God, Cain became upset. God said to him, “Why are you upset? Do you not know that if you do well, all will be well with you? But beware, for sin is crouching at your shoulder. It’s desire is to master you. But you must master it and subdue it.”

Each one of us is responsible in our individual journey. All religions tell us that if we call upon the supreme God he will guide us and free us from the particular evils that plague us. But also, with God’s help, we need to apply our mind to recognize the triggers of temptation in our own life and apply our will to resist them when we  recognize them.

Bob Marley wrote, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can set us free.”

I would add, with God’s help.

Our Father who art in heaven, help to resist temptation. Help us to liberate ourselves from the evil one so that thy will can be done and thy kingdom can come. Amen

 

 

 

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Pledge of the Brown Bear

Full Moon Rising
I pledge allegiance
To the Way

And to the Love, Freedom,
Creativity, and Abudance
That it provides

One Cosmos
With God as its Center and Circumference

E Pluribus Unum
With Compassion for All

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Doing without doing

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

Sometime around 2600 years ago there lived a man whom we refer to as Lao Tzu, which simply means “Old Master.” One story is that he was the keeper of archives for the royal court of Zhou. At the age of 80, he decided to leave the kingdom and venture into the mountains to the west. At the border he was recognized by a guard Yingxi, who  asked him to write down some of his wisdom before he left.

Lao Tzu wrote 81 short passages which have come down to us as the Tao Te Ching, or the Book of the Way.

I am not going to try to define the Tao. Actually, the opening statement of the Tao Te Ching is

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name

– Tao Te Ching 1

ying yang tattooI have been reading Stephen Mitchell’ translation of Tao Te Ching for the past few weeks. The short book is full of wisdom that runs contrary to contemporary Western culture. Our modern culture pursues the vision of Francis Bacon, seeking to dominate nature through science and to create a progressive society organized and controlled by an intellectual elite.

Lao Tzu on the other hand says,

… the universe is forever out of control
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao

– Tao Te Ching 30

Lao Tzu saying

Lao Tzu saying

One of the ideas that stands out in the Lao Tzu’s teaching is “wei wu wei,” doing without doing.  The third chapter of Tao Te Ching ends with the advice:

Practice not doing
and everything will fall into place.

Let us briefly imagine this mysterious Tao as the source of all that is and that it is immanent and active in all being. When we are opinionated and willful, our thinking gets in the way of the Tao. We forget where we come from. We forget that we are a part of the oneness that is the Great Tao.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

– Tao Te Ching 16

Artistic rendering of ying and yang

Artistic rendering of taiji

This is kind of like Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars saying to Luke, “Trust the Force.” Or like the Christian saying, “Let go and let God.”

Nowadays, there is a lot of interest in ancestry. People want to know where they came from. From a Biblical point of view, we can all trace our lineage back to Adam and Eve, who were the son and daughter of God.

From an evolutionary or scientific view also, we all come from the ultimate source. Where do human beings come from? Where do animals and plants come from? Where do molecules and atoms come from? Where do quantum particles from? As the Tao Te Ching says, all come from one source.

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born,
Thus, it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

– Tao Te Ching 7

The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.

It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.

– Tao Te Ching 6

Stop thinking. Start doing without doing.

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Identity and Change, Descartes, Mathematics, King David, Solomon’s Temple, Satan, Statistics, Pythagoras, Plato, and God.

I misspoke in this video saying that Pythagoras studied Plato. I meant to say that Plato was familiar with the teaching of Pythagoras.

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Lead me not into temptation…

This is a tough one. On a theological level it raises questions. On a personal level it hits home.

If one says to Our Father who art in Heaven,  “Please don’t lead me into temptation,” that would seem to imply that when we are tempted it is God that is leading us into temptation.

If it is God’s will that His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven, then why would God lead us into temptation?

Now, to be clear, it does not say that God is the one who tempts us. It merely implies that God may lead us into a situation in which we are tempted.

That makes more sense, because if we are to become perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, then we should be able to resist temptation.

After his baptism by John, when the Holy Spirit descended and a voice from above said, “This is my only Son in whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to fast for 40 days before beginning his public mission.

During that 40 days, we are told that he was tempted by Satan himself with three great temptations. He withstood the temptations by reciting verses from scripture.

Moreover, the story goes on to say that, in addition to these three temptations. Jesus was tempted in every way that it is possible for a man to be tempted and he overcame every temptation.

God allowed the man Jesus to be tempted in every way before he began his public ministry.

Jesus began his ministry as the Messiah on the foundation of his spiritual victory.

Because he overcame temptation, he is the Way.

St. Paul said that Jesus is the first fruits and we are to become like him. So perhaps in order to become like Jesus, we also need to overcome temptation.

Therefore, we may be lead into temptation.

If one has never been tempted, how does one know how he or she will respond?

To teach the Way, one must become the Way.

There are many more questions, but for now I want to repeat that Jesus resisted Satan by quoting sacred scripture. There is power in the words of sacred scripture.

It is not only Christianity that testifies to this power.

To give an example. Five hundred years before Jesus lived, Buddha gave this advice:

Those who recite many scriptures but fail to practice their teachings are like a cowherd counting another’s cows. They do not share in the joys of the spiritual life. But those who know few scriptures yet practice their teachings, overcoming all lust, hatred, and delusion, live with a pure mind in the highest wisdom. They stand without external supports and share in the joys of the spiritual life.

-Dhammapada 1:19-20

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Filed under Confusionism, Flawed Guru, Judeo-Christianity, Religion, The Lord's Prayer

Love and hate

Buddha

Buddha

According to the Dhammapada, more that 2500 years ago the Buddha said:

“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” –
those who dwell on such thoughts will surely never become free from hatred.”

“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” –
those who do not dwell on such thoughts will surely become free from hatred.

For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can.
This is an unalterable law.

– Dhammapada 1:3-5

Looking at today’s world, it seems that we need to remind ourselves of this unalterable law.

Peace will never be realized in a world consumed with hatred. Peace will only be realized on a foundation of love.

Note that the Buddha does not say that resentful thoughts will not arise when one is a victim of injustice. He says that those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred. Likewise, those who do not dwell on those thoughts will surely be free from hatred.

What is love? What is hate? What is the relationship between the two. There may be many definitions, but definitions do not really matter. This a question that each person can answer by introspection.

I believe that there is a being, a force, a power of unconditional universal love. I believe that it is an apprehension of the oneness that underlies all existence.

Personally I believe the experience of this universal power is healing and healthy. I believe that surrendering to and cultivating the power of hatred is destructive and unhealthy.

Therefore I appreciate the Buddha’s insight that not dwelling on resentful thoughts can lead to liberation from hatred.

Vasiliy Myazin - Sermon on the Mount

Vasiliy Myazin – Sermon on the Mount

This is akin to the teaching of Jesus, “Love your enemy.”

Or, “Do unto others as others would do unto you.”

No one likes to be hated. Therefore, do not hate others.

Peace is considered a great virtue.

Selfish, unjust actions disturb the peace.

A primary responsibility of any government is to keep the peace and maintain justice.

Justice and Mercy are two poles of the divine Tree of Life. They should act in concord on the foundation of Love.

If a person is committing crimes, it is appropriate for a policeman to arrest him, but the policeman should not be motivated by hatred. The motivation should be to keep the peace, ensure justice. This is motivated by a love for the community.

Likewise, in international affairs if someone is disturbing the peace, they must be stopped. Not from a motivation of hatred, but from a desire to restore peace and pursue justice.

Road to the Temple of Peace

Road to the Temple of Peace

If a nation or an economic system is unjust, it will lose the mandate of heaven. but it is desirable that reform and rectification be powered by a motivation of love, not hatred.

Justice is important, but attempts to achieve justice motivated by hatred will not succeed. Hatred will only breed more hatred.

A world in which hatred is rampant is an unhealthy world. A nation in which hatred is rampant is an unhealthy nation.

If we do not entertain hateful thoughts and emotions then we open ourselves to the healing power of love.

If we open our hearts and minds to the power of love, then the Kingdom of Divine Love will come.

 

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Our life is shaped by our mind

Dhammapada Chaper 1 verse 1

Dhammapada Chaper 1 verse 1

One of the wisdom books that I like to read is The Dhammapada, a collection of the sayings of the Buddha. The translation that I have is by Eknath Easwaran.

The first chapter of sayings is entitled “Twin Verses.” The first verse reads,

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”

The following twin verse reads,

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

Keeping One's Eye On the Ball

Why did the Buddhist monks who compiled the Dhammapada (which means the path of the Dharma) put these two twin verses at the beginning?

What is mind? What is life? What is your mind? What is your life?

You have your mind. You live your life. Do you think that this is true for you?

Is your life shaped by your mind?

Do you become what you think?

Actually the translation of the verse uses the all inclusive first person plural.

Our life is shaped by our mind.”

What is the relationship between my mind, your mind, and our mind?

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Is there a collective mind?

Do only individuals have minds? Do groups, families, tribes, nations, religions, cultures, etc. have some kind of common mind?

“Our life is shaped by our mind.”

How does our life shape our mind?

What does it mean to shape one’s life?

Is the converse also true? Does our life shape our mind?

It seems to me that the mind, while it reacts to life, is stronger, more causal. What do you think?

“We become what we think?”

What is thought?

A thought

A thought

What is a thought?

Where do thoughts come from?

How do thoughts effect us?

What is the relationship between thought, emotion, feeling, and action, and result?

How do we become what we are?

What is becoming?

“We become what we think.”

Are you ready to accept responsivity for your thoughts?

Can you choose your thoughts?

Can you control what you think?

“Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”
“Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

Almost Moksha

 

What is a positive thought?

What is a negative or evil thought?

What kind of a world am I shaping?

What kind of a world are you shaping?

What kind of a world are we shaping?

Do we want suffering or joy?

“Our life is shaped by our mind.”

 

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